Friday, August 12, 2022

Khama tried to stop DCEC probe against his twin brothers – Wiki leaks

President Lt Gen Ian Khama interfered in investigations by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) involving his twin brothers Tshekedi and Anthony.

A Wikileaks report states: “Although the DCEC has taken appropriate steps to prevent and prosecute corruption, questions have emerged regarding the extent of its independence. During the August 8-10 conference of regional anti-corruption agencies, for example, DCEC director, Tymon Katlholo, acknowledged that Batswana often believe that the DCEC focuses on petty corruption and ignores corrupt practices by the wealthy and influential. In an August 10 conversation, Philliat Matsheza, Executive Director of Harare-based Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa relayed to PolOff an earlier conversation with Katlholo. The DCEC chief had told Matsheza that Vice President Khama had personally questioned him about an investigation into the (notoriously shady) business dealings of Khama’s younger twin brothers. (Note: Prof. Ken Good, the outspoken academic deported by the Government in May (Ref C), had highlighted suspicious transactions involving the Khama brothers and the Botswana Defense Force during Khama’s tenure as Commander.”)

Wikileaks further stated that, “another contact, attorney Dick Bayford, independently confirmed this report to Emboffs. This incident reflects a common sense of apprehension about the implications of a Khama presidency and whether he might turn a blind eye to corruption among the socio-economic elite.”

Ironically, Transparency International’s re-designation of Botswana as Africa’s least corrupt country coincided with a rash of new corruption allegations. In early October, a group of firms sought court intervention to suspend work on several disputed government contracts — which they claimed were irregularly awarded by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) to companies owned by Member of Parliament for Ghanzi Christian De Graaf and the wife of Minister of Education, Jacob Nkate. Intervention by a “higher authority” allegedly enabled their firms to bid on tenders originally reserved for smaller companies. It then came to light that the PPADB had awarded tenders to other contractors who were initially disqualified by the contracting agency in the Ministry of Agriculture. In a third incident, reports emerged that the chief executive of the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), a lending facility established to promote citizen entrepreneurship, had abused his office to make unauthorized loans. The Chairman of CEDA’s Board also reportedly owned a company that offered consultancy services for companies applying for CEDA loans, creating a clear conflict of interest.

Wikileaks, however, reported that: Botswana continues to enjoy the lowest incidence of corruption in Africa as perceived by international and local observers. Nonetheless, a rash of recent allegations has fed the growing public perception that corruption is a problem in Botswana.

Although the Government has taken a variety of measures to prevent and prosecute corruption; disconcerting questions have been raised about the independence of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime. Mission continues to highlight the centrality of controlling corruption to Botswana’s economic growth and political stability.

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